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The Back of the Rijksmuseum
Image from Koen Smilde

Public transport in Amsterdam

Travelling within Amsterdam by public transport is straightforward and convenient. The extensive network is operated by GVB and connects the city's neighbourhoods by train, tram, metro, bus and ferry.

Please note: GVB's public transport network is cashless. You can only purchase a ticket on board trams and buses with a debit or credit card.

Public transport chip card (OV-Chipkaart)

In Amsterdam and throughout the Netherlands, the public transport chip card (OV-Chipkaart) is a rechargeable card used for travel on trams, buses, metros and trains. Residents typically own a personalised card that can be loaded up with credit. However, it is also possible to purchase a non-personalised card that can be reused and recharged with credit at any time.

  • Non-personalised cards: Available at GVB ticket machines, GVB Tickets & Info offices, and select newsstands and supermarkets.
  • Personalised cardsAvailable online. Please note that public transport cards provided by Dutch Railways (NS) can also be used on other parts of public transport. These passes require a passport-style photo.

The official OV-Chipkaart website offers helpful, in-depth advice in English, from checking in and out and transfers to public transport companies and detailed explanations about how to recharge your card with credit.

Tram

There is a reliable and frequent tram service across Amsterdam (except for Amsterdam-Noord), with many routes terminating at Central Station. It is easy to check in and out with a public transport chip card (OV-Chipkaart) at the start and end of your journeys (including when you change trams). Alternatively, it is possible to purchase a 1, 24 or 48-hour ticket aboard most trams using a credit or debit card. Other tickets (including multi-day tickets) can be purchased at GVB Tickets & Info offices or GVB ticket machines.

Bus

Amsterdam’s extensive bus network connects all neighbourhoods with other city areas and extends into the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area. The main bus companies include GVB (primarily within Amsterdam), Connexxion (R-Net) and EBS, with many routes operating to and from Amsterdam Central Station. It is easy to check in and out with a public transport chip card (OV-Chipkaart) at the start and end of your journeys (including when you change buses). Alternatively, single-journey, 1, 24 or 48-hour tickets can typically be purchased directly from the driver using a debit or credit card. Other tickets (including multi-day tickets) can be purchased at GVB Tickets & Info offices or GVB ticket machines.

Metro

Amsterdam's metro system radiates from Central Station to the city's outlying districts. Its four routes are often the fastest way to reach districts like Bijlmer, Amstelveen and Diemen. Metro stations are gated by check-in and check-out ports, accessible only with a public transport chip card (OV-Chipkaart) or another valid travel card. If you do not have a personal chip card, you can purchase a 1-hour ticket or a rechargeable non-personalised public transport chip card at GVB service desks or ticket machines at the station.

Ferry

Amsterdam’s ferries provide essential, free connections for pedestrians, cyclists and mopeds across the River IJ towards Amsterdam Noord. The most popular and best-served ferry route is from Amsterdam Central Station to Buiksloterweg. Several ferries operate on this short route, meaning you rarely have to wait more than a few minutes to step aboard. This route is also served throughout the night.

The other main routes served from Central Station are to IJplein (a little further east) and to NDSM Wharf. In the wider Amsterdam Metropolitan Area, other ferry routes cross the North Sea Canal. 

Click here for GVB's full, interactive map of Amsterdam ferry routes.

Please note: the North Sea Canal ferry services transport motorised vehicles for a small fee.

Train

Trains provide superb connections with Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, but also different parts of the city, other Dutch towns and cities, plus direct connections with Belgium, France and Germany. Amsterdam Central Station is the primary station, providing quick access to the city centre and public transport network. Tickets can be purchased from the yellow ticket machines or customer service desks at stations.

For Dutch train schedules, use the online planner or download the mobile apps NS Reisplanner and 9292.

How to travel from Schiphol Airport to Amsterdam Central Station

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Save money

 There are several ways to travel cheaply (unlimited) in Amsterdam:

  • I amsterdam City Card: The I amsterdam City Card includes unlimited use of Amsterdam's public transport network for 24, 48, 72 or 96 hours. The card also gives you a discount on museums and attractions.
  • GVB day ticket: Multi-day tickets are available for 1 to 7 days, starting from €7.50 and are valid on all GVB trams, buses and metro services.
  • Amsterdam & Region Travel Ticket: Want to discover everything there is within the city and the wider Amsterdam Metropolitan Area? The Amsterdam & Region Travel Ticket is an affordable public transport option. It gives you 1, 2 or 3 days of unlimited use of all tram, bus and metro lines of GVB, Connexxion, AllGo, R-net and EBS (including night lines) and NS in Amsterdam and the region.

Useful apps

Plan your trip in advance via 9292 or using detailed interactive maps of the public transport network via the GVB website.